Inadequate facilities keep BeauVer Christian out of state voucher program

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

BeauVer Christian Academy in DeRidder was deemed ineligible for the state’s voucher program a second time. The Department

of Education recently approved 133 private schools to receive voucher students for the 2013-2014 school year.

According to reports, BeauVer was the

only school in the state excluded from participating in the program. The

department

reported that officials conducted a site visit to the campus and

determined the facilities were not adequate to accept scholarship

students. In an e-mail to the American Press the department said

the site visit revealed there were several missing components

of fire safety regulations including missing documentation of

evacuation routes, lack of fire extinguishers in modular classrooms

and missing ceiling tiles in classrooms.

The report also listed inadequate

kitchen facilities for feeding additional students. In addition, it was

found that an individual

who had been convicted of financial misconduct was affiliated with

the school last year.

The e-mail stated that “the Department had received information that this individual had retired; however, Department officials

determined that this individual is still involved in the direct operations of the school.”

It was reported that these issues were the same during a site visit to BeauVer Christian Academy before the 2012-2013 school

year.

Criteria for participating voucher schools had first been released July 11, 2012. BeauVer had originally been approved for

119 voucher students for the 2012-2013 school year.

Non-public schools have to be approved

and deemed eligible for the voucher program by the Board of Elementary

and Secondary

Education. Under Bulletin 133—Student Scholarships for Educational

Excellence, participating schools have to comply with federal,

state and local laws and “regulations pertaining to the health,

safety, and welfare of students for public or non-public schools,

as applicable.”

The most recent inspection of the

school by the state fire marshal was done on Sept. 26, 2012 for either

new or remodeled

buildings. The final inspection covered five facilities citing two

minor structural changes needed. The first was a 1.25 inch

difference in an exterior doorway landing; the second a wheelchair

ramp that needed a size adjustment. The school has until

May 31 to complete the corrections.

Though the application process has closed for the 2013-14 school year there is no restriction on applying again when the next

application process opens up.

“They can apply every year if they update the facilities,” said Press Secretary Barry Landry. “But until they fix all of the

reasons they were rejected again this year, which a lot of it is the facilities, then the same thing will keep happening.”

BeauVer Christian Academy Director Sheral Zeno declined to comment.